Hotel Chester

TAG Chester is excited to share with you proposals to create Hotel Chester, a new 142-bedroom hotel on Union Terrace by the Shropshire Union Canal.

Chester is one of the UK’s most historic cities, with visitors across the country attracted by its rich heritage.

Hotel Chester would deliver a transformative development in the heart of the city, providing much-needed additional hotel accommodation to support the growth of Chester’s visitor economy.

Sketch of proposed hotel
Aerial view of the site and its context.

Chester’s visitor economy

The visitor economy is hugely important for the City of Chester.

14 million

Tourists visited Chester City area in 2019


Total of economic impact from the Chester City area in 2018


FTE Visitor Economy jobs were supported in the Chester City area in 2018


Of total visitor numbers to the borough are day visitors

In October 2023 a total of 1,204,508 people visited Chester but this is still less than October 2019..

We know that most of these visitors will have only spent a day in Chester. More needs to be done to extend the average visitor time, keep tourists in Chester for longer, and boost the visitor spend in local attractions, shops, restaurants and bars.

Part of the answer is to deliver more high-end hotel accommodation to cater for the demands of both business and leisure visitors.

Chester City Gateway

The proposed site is located within the Chester City Gateway, which has been identified by Cheshire West & Chester Council as key to the city’s transformation.

Many of the millions of visitors to Chester every year arrive at Chester Railway Station before onward travel to the city’s hotels and visitor attractions.

The Council wants to link the residential communities to the north and east, such as Hoole Village, with Chester City Centre and see it become a destination in its own right.

The Gateway is a key project for the Council to create a “thriving hub for Chester, complete with new independent retailers and eateries alongside high-quality offices at City Place and new homes”.

Hotel Chester will be located within The Gateway, just a 12-minute walk from the railway station. The proposals reflect the aspirations that Cheshire West & Chester Council has for The Gateway. The footprint of the building will be reduced and stepped back from the Shropshire Union Canal – improving the public realm and offering the opportunity for a new tree-lined canal side route for cyclists and pedestrians.

The Mecca Bingo site

TAG Chester is proposing to redevelop the now-closed Mecca Bingo Hall, at a site bordered by Brookdale Place, Union Terrace and St Oswalds Way.

The site has a rich and varied history. The existing building was built in 1931 and was a popular and grand cinema. The Gaumont cinema opened in 1931 and its last screening was in 1961. After its closure it was repurposed as a bowling alley and then as a bingo hall in 1970 which was in operation until its recent closure in 2023.

Opportunity for the future

The existing building is a dominating feature in the local townscape and doesn’t contribute to local conservation and character areas. Whilst the site has a strong frontage onto St Oswalds Way, the rear of the building has a weak frontage, offering a poor outlook onto the Shropshire Union Canal and a negative vista from Canal Side and Back Queen Street.

As a result, we are proposing to demolish the rear of the building, which will be replaced with an exciting new piece of architecture that reflects the city’s history, is sympathetic to its surroundings, and improves the canal side frontage and public realm along Union Terrace.

Our proposals

Hotel Chester is an exciting opportunity to regenerate the site with a building that is more in keeping with Chester’s unique architectural style that will enhance the local streetscape.

  • Strategic location close to Chester train station and the city centre
  • Regeneration of a prominent site in Chester City Centre
  • A modern, 142-room hotel delivered by a world-leading hotel operator
  • Part of the original building which fronts onto Brookdale Place will be retained for retail use
  • Delivery of a sustainable modern hotel at BREEAM Excellent standards
  • Future proofing with a 100% biodiversity net gain
  • New canal side public realm along Union Terrace
  • Boosting Chester’s visitor economy through £2.3million of extra tourist spending from hotel guests
  • Creating 110 FTE jobs during the construction process
  • Creating 80 FTE jobs when operational

Design Aspirations

Chester has a proud architectural heritage.

The proposals for Hotel Chester respect this and have been inspired by the historic vernacular of the city, particularly the Tudor era due to the site’s location and the existing Tudor façade of the current Mecca Bingo site.

Tudor architecture is characterised by key features and styles, including half-timbered construction, wide arches with flattened tops, decorative brickwork and masonry, mullioned windows, projecting porches or entrance ways, an emphasis on symmetry and proportion and intricate ornamental details.

The façade of the proposed building takes on these design cues:

  • Prominent architectural archway feature to Gaumont Palace to be reinterpreted and celebrated within the new proposed hotel
  • Arches have been introduced to the ground and first floors to reflect the arches found in Chester’s Tudor architecture
  • Columns have been added in between hotel windows to reflect historic Tudor proportions
  • Bays have been extended towards the roofline to reflect dormers within Tudor architecture

Landscape Aspirations

The redevelopment of the site would provide an opportunity to enhance its appearance. We would make the site fully accessible and introduce high-quality soft and hard landscaping to soften boundaries.

Landscaping features include:

  • Planting to enhance biodiversity
  • Coloured asphalt to denote parking bays
  • Enhancements to the outlook on to the canal
  • An attractive terrace providing an outdoor area for the restaurant

Site Layout

Access into the site will be along Union Way, with waste collection and deliveries taking place to the east of the site.

Due to the site’s location close to city centre car parks, Hotel Chester will limit parking provision to 11 car parking spaces, of which two will be Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant and one will be dedicated for staff use.

The ground floor will welcome visitors to the building through lobby space for check-in and space for a hotel bar/restaurant.

The ground floor hotel bar/restaurant will offer canal side views which can be enjoyed inside or on the terrace. The outdoor space will create new public realm, aid active frontage and improve views into the site from properties along Canal Side, Queens Place and Back Queen Street.

Above ground level floors one to six will consist of hotel rooms with views over the canal, Chester and beyond. There will be a proportion of accessible rooms compliant with DDA requirements.

What’s next?

TAG Chester would like to thank you for taking the time to view our proposals for Hotel Chester.

We are genuinely excited about the opportunity that this site presents to support growth in Chester’s visitor economy and breathe life back into a historic building at the heart of the city.



Validation of planning application



Planning determination



Start on site



Hotel Chester opens

Have your say

Get in touch

You can leave your feedback and provide comments via:

  • 0800 298 7040 (Freephone)
  • Union Terrace Consultation, Freepost RTYC-TZRU-ARGA, Cavendish, Dalton Place, 29 John Dalton Street, Manchester M2 6FW
  • Using the online form below

We’re eager to hear from local residents and stakeholders about our plans for Hotel Chester. Your feedback is invaluable as we work to create a development that truly benefits the whole of the city.

Thank you for your feedback, this consultation is now closed.